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Accounting News Roundup: Summer Fridays and Don’t Waste a Good Crisis | 05.30.17


Summer Fridays

My memory is fuzzy, but back in my KPMG days, I recall a policy during the summer months that allowed everyone to “jump start” the weekend by leaving at 3 pm on Fridays with “client demands permitting.” It seemed luxurious at the time but in recent years, many firms have gone one step further, allowing their people to skip work on Friday altogether with the caveat that you’re available in case some fires need put out. I don’t know how widespread this perk is, but Ed Mendlowitz is now suggesting firms “chuck Fridays” through Labor Day in a column for Accounting Today, which means even the most change adverse firms can’t act like they haven’t heard of the idea.

I support this policy even if it means fewer people reading this fine publication on Fridays because, honestly, Fridays in June through August are a waste. Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, everyone’s bloodthirsty for long weekends again. Even if you do need to go in on a Friday, don’t plan on using email or the phone because no one will respond.

Accountants behaving badly

Any accountants looking to earn money through illicit means will never let a good crisis pass them by. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, by any measure, was a massive disaster and Joseph Bassler did not let it go to waste:

As part of his scheme, Bassler prepared and submitted fraudulently inflated claims falsely alleging lost income on behalf of his clients.

He also created false documents, including monthly profit and loss statements, that he provided in support of the fraudulent lost income claims. As payment for his services, he accepted a portion of the recovery money for the loss claims he prepared.

In total, Bassler submitted 62 claims, three of which were paid. For the three claims that were paid, Bassler and his clients received over $600,000 more than they were entitled from the compensation fund.

Bassler’s meager success rate was due to…getting caught. I guess the problem for criminals taking advantage of massive crises is that authorities are watching for criminals taking advantage of massive crises.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Marsha Leest wrote about goal setting. In Open Items, someone’s asking about managing subscription service spending.

In other news:

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